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Presser of the Day: Karen Chhour

Won’t Somebody Please Think Of The Children?

Friday, 30 April 2021 Press Release: ACT New Zealand

“The Waitangi Tribunal has completely missed the point with its review into Oranga Tamariki,” says ACT’s spokesperson for Children Karen Chhour. “Oranga Tamariki is broken for all children, not just Māori. If we can’t get the current system right, how will creating an independent Māori Transition Authority fix anything? “I was a Māori child in state care and I can tell you that Māori children aren't that different, they just need to be loved, fed, educated and not abused by the people who claim to care for them. “We need to do what’s in the best interest of a child regardless of the colour of their skin. “The review concentrates on the Treaty, parents and whanau. How about we ask what’s best for the kids? Nobody has stopped to ask whether removing children from these families was actually in their best interest. “Oranga Tamariki’s governing principles and its Act should be colour-blind, utterly child-centric and open to whatever solution will ensure a child’s wellbeing. I have a Member's Bill which would ensure this happens, placing more value on the best interests of the child rather than the Treaty.”

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8 Comments


Paul Johansen
Paul Johansen
May 03, 2021

If separatism is what they want and they believe they have the mandate to do it, who are we to try and stop the experiment? The result will be borne out by the stats soon enough, but its just so sad that it has to be a head count of inocent children that settles the argument. We can only hope the outcome was worth the risk.

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wigramtaylors
wigramtaylors
May 02, 2021

Why wasn't this woman invited to speak at the Mongrel Mob thing? (rhetorical)

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Replying to

Because what she has to say does not support the narrative that Maori are being oppressed by the Whiteman. Although she speaks sense it would not have gone down with a crowd that would have to reflect on their own actions - they do not want to be introspective when they can blame someone else.

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Well written Karen. We all need to be colour blind and do what is best for "people" irrespective of colour, creed, gender or race.

Unfortunately the world and particularly this government are not that way inclined - follow the money, power and votes.

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These useless bureaucracies are almost incapable of sticking to their original remit or core competency.

Did the change to the name 'Oranga Tamariki' achieve anything besides increased contracts to marketing and stationery suppliers for the rebrand in the name of appearing to be busy doing something?

Add to that one of the most useless Ministers NZ has ever had, Kelvin Davis. In what world is that guy going to solve anything?

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Brian Hay
Brian Hay
May 02, 2021

The Review of Oranga Tamariki has never concentrated first and foremost on the safety and well-being of the children involved. Rather it has sought to restore the mana of the whanau and to strengthen boundaries against perceived cultural encroachment. Any question concerning the whanau's actual ability to provide a safe and constructive environment has to be dismissed as culturally uncomfortable and therefore racist. But careless and dangerous family environments are not exclusive to Maori. It is a serious nationwide issue and should be the very first focus of Oranga Tamariki, well before concern with any cultural sensitivities. I am of direct Ngati Tuwharetoa descent and cultural values are of considerable importance to me but before all else I want o…

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